“As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, saying, ‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!’ Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, order your disciples to stop." He answered, ‘I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out (Luke 19:37-40).’”
Tomorrow morning begins “holy week,” the week that culminates in the crucifixion of our Lord on Friday and the resurrection (!!!) on Easter Sunday. The week begins with Jesus moving down the path from the Mount of Olives into Jerusalem while the disciples joyfully shout words of prayer and praise at the sight of his arrival. Let’s set aside for the moment that many of their expectations were wrong. At least some of them probably believed that this was the time when he would become the king who would overthrow Israel’s enemy (Rome). Some of them no-doubt believed that a call to war would soon occur. They got all of that wrong, of course; but let’s set that aside for now and notice what they got right. Jesus was in fact arriving as their king. He did indeed come with great signs of power. He was to be sure the one who could save them. And their words of praise were perfectly directed to him, the king of kings. “If these were silent,” Jesus announced, “the stones would shout out.”
Tomorrow is Palm Sunday, a day in our church when we will celebrate the arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem, coronate him as our king and celebrate that we have been raised with him to newness of life. Prepare for this day thoughtfully and well. It is an extraordinary privilege to worship the living God together, as God’s people. Lean forward. Be prepared. Don’t leave this business of worship up to the stones!